Saturday, September 27, 2008

Baltimore's Blaine

"Retired magician Casey Jones performs a street trick by swallowing two lit cigarettes outside Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbeque in Baltimore's Hamilton neighborhood Thursday afternoon."

Magician David Blaine said in multiple articles that he was unhappy with how he ended his latest stunt: hanging upside-down in New York City for 60 hours.

My Thursday was anything but an exciting performance, yet, unlike Blaine, I enjoyed the outcome.

After calling in to see what I had going on Thursday, I was not very excited for what was looking for a one assignment, food review day.

Hoping things would change, I told my friend on the phone, "I can only hope for some sort of excitement today," as I ended our conversation and hung up.

I am starting to think I should just say that everyday I suspect things may be slow.

Sitting around until my 2 p.m. barbeque shoot, at 11 a.m. I got handed a printed Google map with the location of a shooting. Inside I cheered aloud as I grabbed my keys and headed to Central Baltimore.

I've always been addicted to breaking spot news and the mean streets of Baltimore. Yet I've never covered a murder or shooting police scene downtown. The biggest law enforcement story I've been on this summer involved Clark Rockefeller, whom was accused of kidnapping his seven-year-old daughter during a supervised visit in Boston.

For years I've always wanted to do a story on the dangerous neighborhoods of the city. There has to be more than meets the eye and so many underlying, interesting stories. However, the access to these stories is anything but safe. One day. One day.

Moving on from my tangent, police officers were in Central Baltimore at about 10:45 a.m. when they approached an apartment complex and attempted to interview a man who they believed was involved in drug activity.

The suspect began to fight with the officers, and the altercation moved into an apartment stairwell. The man grabbed at an officer's gun, and the officer secured his weapon, then fired at the suspect.

His injuries were not life-threatening, and police did find significant drugs. And while the scene was wrapping up it's investigation, it was exciting to be on streets I typically wouldn't walk and covering a spot news shooting (which I am surprised I haven't shot more this summer, I mean this is "The Wire").

Later in the day, I made my way to my food review. As I walked in I was met a man named Casey Jones. He handed me a business card, so I proceeded to hand it back.

"No, count the all the F's in the box," he said. It was a magic trick.

Although stimulated from the earlier shooting, I still decided to give this guy, who I initially thought was a begger, two minutes of my time.

As I often mention, I love meeting new people from all walks of life. I'll talk to just about anyone because you never know what their story is or what they can share.

Jones inspired me in someway. I guess because he was an fascinating person. He told me to pull my shoulders together and stand up straight. He told me I had a great personality. He was just an honest man.

He showed me three tricks before I made my way into to my assignment. He showed me a coin trick, then swung a quarter on a metal clothes hanger and then swallowed two lit cigarettes.

It was a nice light conversation that I think could turn into possibly a feature story. He told me of his old days and how he just likes to entertain others, as he made his way into the restaurant for lunch.

The only problem is that he left so abruptly. All he gave me was his name and a brief background before I got the chance to ask for any further information other than his name.

So 600 words later, the point of this post sums up that you never know what you will really be doing, or whom you may meet as a journalist each day.

I guess that's just one of the endless reasons I love this profession. I love spontaneity.


Post a Comment

<< Home